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  • We used to get the Grange Hill kids (Zammo and a couple of girls I can't remember) to open our school fetes. Think it was the church pulilng strings. Lol

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    • Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
      I was thinking about one character who seemed to have stayed in the series longer than anyone else in the first decade: the school secretary Janet.

      She seemed to be an official character, being credited at the end of the appropriate episodes that she appeared in, possibly credited as "Janet" or "(school) secretary", and was credited as "Stella Haime" in series 1 and 2, and "Stella Monsell" in series 3 and 4, who I believe was the same person although the IMDB lists them separately - I believe that as they both shared the same name, they were the same person, and then she stops being credited after that. Even at this point by 1981 she is the only adult staff member to still appear in GH who was first seen in series 1 - a runner-up would have been Graham Ashley, although his sad death in November 1979 meant that he was no longer alive to appear as Garfield the Caretaker and was replaced by Timothy Bateson's Thomson (both named after Cartoon cats, methinks - think of the 1980s Thomson Local Directory adverts!) Ashley didn't even live long enough to see his final GH appearances.

      However, after series 4, someone called "Janet" is still McClusky's secretary, speaking to her on the telephone from her office in series 5 (the Roland Browning storyline in the first two episodes), and a woman who depicts her is sometimes seen, although no longer speaks, so therefore she is not credited, and is probably a bit like Llewellyn the Headmaster in series 3 - still there when he isn't, if you know what I mean. I suppose that she looked almost like the Madge Allsopp to McClusky's Dame Edna Everage!

      Janet remains McClusky's secretary into the early Zammo Maguire era, and is still referred to when the Headmistress is close to her or the secretary's office although is no longer credited, such as Gripper's suspension in series 6, Suzanne Ross having enough and doing a bunk in series 7, etc. She even makes it past the merger and is still mentioned in the episode of series 9 where Imelda is suspended for cutting up the corners of the timetables to extort money from the first year girls, and also Ant Jones kissing in the school playground, being caught by Bronson. Bridget still refers to Janet in that episode. It's worth noting that in five of those nine episodes - (more than half), there was another Janet in the cast - Janet St Clair, although she was after the other Janet was credited - perhaps that was why the secretary was no longer credited, so as to avoid confusion with Roland's busybody?

      Janet seems to be finally mentioned in series 9, and in series 10 a new secretary called Jenny is now working for McClusky - she is credited when she had lines in Imelda's expulsion episode "I can bug her if you like", she says to Kennedy about McClusky being undisturbed while having a meeting with Chairman Governor Glover. In her uncredited series, the silent actress does look like the same one who appeared during the Tucker era, and I would give the benefit of the doubt that it is the same person as well as the same character all those years.

      I have come to the conclusion that if Janet the school secretary has been implicated in ever series from 1978 to 1986, then that would have made her become the last surviving character who had previously and possibly continuously appeared in every series since the first series, even if several actresses had played her over the years. Even Baxter was the closest to equalling that but had only joined in series 2. I wonder what other people think about this? Does the school secretary have the accolade for being the last surviving character, staff or pupil from back in 1978?

      To be honest George, i thought i recalled a Janet or Jenny in Series 13 too (though i may be mixing her up with Janet), but as you say if Janet was there from Day 1 that makes her one of the longest serving characters from the start - in a way like Tracey "the Barmaid" in the Queen Vic on EastEnders who is known for being there from Day 1 as an extra as was Big Ron 9a Market Trader), not the Ex-aston Villa and Forest Gaffer amongst many others!

      Though if she did survive all those years and even became Jenny - hmm yep she is the longest serving character from Day 1 of course, but not the Lonest Serving Teacher or Pupil (though of course a Pupil would not attain such a length of spell given the years to stay in School are not possible), but Kathy McCllroy and James "Arnie" Arnold, and Colin Brown all did 7 years :, in Kathy's case returning as a a "sort of Trainee/HHelping Hand" in the CIC) which many considered dubious as to she could just attain such a job, even if with the greatest respect it was a Low Key Job and Arnie had to take a year out due to his Epilespy as too Colin was also allowed back djue to his terrible spell as a TV Presenter that did'nt work out;, but to my knowledge the full list of longest serving characters (not including Janet/Jenny Bates) as I am unsure when she left etc (as that would be at least 9 years from 1978 to 1987) otherwise is

      1. Mr Robson (15 and a half years - 1988 to 2004) as he was'nt seen in Series 27 but still was "about"
      2. Un-brelievably Mr Hankin pipped Mrs McCklusky by one year to a grand total of 12 years - 1990 to 2002
      3 Mr Mackenzie 1985 to 1993
      4 Mrs Carver-Robson 1995 to 2002
      5 Mr Brislety 1992 to 1999 - 7 years but as he left in early series 22 and arived very late in Series 15, i'd put him more on an equal footing with Mrs Booth in doing 6 years or just over

      Then there is the Students

      James "Arnie" Arnold, Colin Brown, and Kathy McCllroy - 7 years each and then Justine Dean, and Callie Donnington and Trevor doing 7 full years including a Lower and Upper 6th each - which even Georgina did not complete as she began in the 2nd Year/Year 8 .... nor did Ronnie (though she gave a good go of it - as she did a 7th series) abliet one Episode to wrap up the Monkey/aids Storyline of Callie's

      On a final sub-note I read Robbie was due to do a th but John Alford changed his mind due to so many of that era having left!!

      80sChav

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